They would never win a beauty contest. That is for sure! And there is more:
I like the smell of freshly cut garden cucumbers very much, but I don't dare to eat them raw. There is something in this kind of cucumber which sets my stomach on fire. I decided to cook them. Cooked or pickled: no pain at all for me.
Thinking about cucumber vegetables there is only one recipe I am really fond of, besides pickled cucumbers: Cucumber sliced and cooked in a cream sauce accompanied by a nice fish filet and lots of dill.
|catfish with cucumber vegetable|
400 g catfish fillet (wels), trimmed in two nice even fillets - and scraps (1 handful)
2 big garden cucumbers, peeled, quartered, seeds and watery flesh removed by a spoon, sliced in 0,5 cm slices
1 bunch dill, leaves and tender stems only, roughly chopped
1/2 carrot, diced in really small cubes (brunoise)
1 cm slice cellery root, diced in really small cubes (brunoise)
1 red onion, diced
250 ml cream (for whipping)
150 ml fish broth
1 laurel leave
1 sip Noilly Prat
1 tablespoon butter
cajun seasoning (mixture of chili, pepper, allspice, tarragon, garlic)
oil for frying
Salt cucumber slices and let rest about 30 minutes. Afterwards rinse the slices with water, strain them.
Melt butter in a pan and add diced onion. Cook on medium heat until onion gets translucent. Add carrot and cellery brunoise. Let sweat just 1 minute - no colouring by roasting! Deglace with fish broth, cream and Noilly Prat. Add laurel leave and simmer until the liquid is nearly halved. Get rid of laurel leave. Add cucumber to the sauce and simmer about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and lemon pepper. Never cook the cream on high temperature!
Meanwhile sprinkle the fish with a little lemon juice, salt and a good amount of cajun seasoning. Toss fish in flour until lightly dusted and fry in oil (I used a wok) until fish is done (depends on the thickness of the fish).
Serve fish with cucumber cream sauce. Just before serving add dill to sauce.
Now what to do with the scraps.
|fish fritters with aioli|
Afterwards I formed small patties - golf ball ize (with wet hands, batter is sticky) and tossed them in corn flour. I fried the fritters in oil until golden and crisp and served them hot with Aioli (garlic mayonnaise).
The wels was really fresh, not grown too big. Sometimes old aged (years of growth) and big sized wels taste a little bit like pond mud mixed with fish oil. So I always have a sharp eye at the fish size and meat structure before buying. Lucky, this one was perfect - a feast.
I bought two trouts too. They sleep in a spiced salt brine until tomorrow.